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NSW Waratah player and coach Patrick McCutcheon and rugby league legend Brad Fittler were welcomed to State Parliament Thursday, by the Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation Matt Kean, to address young school leaders on leadership.
Minister Kean invited Pat and about 90 students and 60 parents to have morning tea in the Jubilee Room of Sate Parliament with him and the Premier, Gladys Berejiklian to discuss leadership, what it means and the different types of leaders there can be.
Pat spoke about his rugby career and the leadership experiences he has had as a young player and in his role as a high performance coach.
Mr Kean then facilitated an open discussion where he, Pat and Brad Fitler responded to questions from the school students.
“The students are fortunate that they’re leaders within their local communities and in their local schools,” said Pat McCutcheon.
“I think with leadership, it’s not a gift, it’s something you learn and develop.
“It’s good they’ve had a chance to talk to other students who are the same age and in a similar situation to themselves and can learn from each other.
“But it’s also good for them to talk to some of the experienced leaders like the Premier and the Minister and Brad Fittler about some of the experiences we’ve had and some of the challenges we’ve faced.
“We offered some insight into what good leadership is and what it looks like. For young leaders to hear that, gives them some perspective into what they need to do and how they need to grow and learn as a leader.
“No one is ever the best leader and leadership is something that’s progressive, you are always learning and you’re always developing, so it’s a good step to speak to all of those leaders.”
McCutcheon said he was impressed by the students who were right up to date with so many social and environmental issues.
He said that one of the great things that professional athletes have is the ability to connect to students at a junior community level.
“I feel with young people you can influence them in a positive way and I feel like you can make a difference.
“It doesn’t take much, but you can have a lasting and very positive influence on a younger person that they remember for a long time.”
Other past guests who have addressed the local leadership group have included Sharni Layton and Jason King, Mo'onia Gerard, Nathan Hindmarsh and NSW Waratah Andrew Kellaway.